It is my pleasure to report on the past season – the 120th for Jersey’s oldest club – and what a great celebration we had last October and it was so good to see over 150 people turn up to celebrate with and support us.
Over the course of 2015 / 2016, we’ve grown in strength across all of our teams on the playing fields and progress has been made in building strong squads that will sustain us for the future. Our First team came very close to breaking the stranglehold of the top two and there is a belief around the Club that our turn is coming soon. It was a difficult year for our Ladies and many other clubs would have folded their team given the setback experienced but not us. Our girls rallied around, got stuck in and with the help of Dan Sevoir we have come back strongly and the future looks much brighter.
Across our junior teams, we continue to compete at the highest levels but something which is very much at the foundation of the Wanderers is the tenant of ‘it’s not just about what we do on the field’. We conduct ourselves properly, we are respectful of our opposition and we do the right things to ensure our boys and girls enjoy their football. It really is no wonder that so many young players want to join us up here at JTC Park.
Our Minis set up is regarded as one of the best, if not the best run academies in Jersey. Clive Richardson and Duncan Newton continue to deliver a fantastic programme for boys and girls giving them the best possible introduction and experience of club football.
Of course none of this would be possible without the tireless efforts of our Managers, coaches and the volunteers who help out on a regular basis. And volunteering is absolutely an area where we do need more help in keeping Wanderers going and if there is anyone out there who could assist Wanderers, in any way, please don’t be shy in coming forward. If you are a parent then please speak to your team manager or contact us through the website. Pick up a flag and get involved.
Our Honorary Treasurer will speak shortly about our financial position but I raise it here as it is the biggest issue and challenge we face going forward.
Many people think we are a richer football club – perhaps due to the fact that we have an excellent sponsor in JTC Group to whom we are thankful for their continued support. Let’s be clear, without Nigel Le Quesne and his company stepping in, Wanderers really would have been history a few years ago.
The reality is, however, that despite the generous sponsorship, we just about get through. Last year we had less than £200 in the bank at the end of the season. So what is wholly unacceptable is when players do not pay subscriptions or fines. Individually owing the Club a £10 fine might not seem much – but when I tell you we are owed over £500 in unpaid fines you can appreciate the impact that has on us. I urge all players and parents to make more of an effort to pay subs early and help us out in keeping the facilities going. At £2 per week, you are getting a fantastic bargain.
As we look forward, the outlook is positive. We have signed a new lease for JTC Park – the grounds (maybe not the showers!) of which are the envy of most clubs. We are considering whether to re-build and develop the clubhouse and maybe put floodlights in to allow for evening games. These plans are however on hold at the minute as we are concerned about the financial risks this would sink the Club under.
We have strong playing squads and an excellent pathway from Minis, right through to our First teams and we have qualified coaching staff working with every team. It’s all looking good.
I’m sure in his role as outgoing Club President, Gary Dauvin, will also thank everyone again for their ongoing commitment but in closing, I would like to recognise and record thanks from the Club to all the people who makes JTC Jersey Wanderers the great club that it is. We have something really really good going on here so let’s not waste the opportunity in the year ahead.
Our Club. Our Community.